Long: A-Rod was hurting in August

Last week Alex Rodriguez‘s doctor said in no uncertain terms that the hip injury he’s about to have surgery to repair was responsible for his horrific postseason performance, and now his hitting coach is saying that signs something was wrong were present well before that:

“I knew it in August,” the Yankees hitting coach [Kevin Long] said by phone Saturday. “I didn’t know exactly what it was, but his lower half was not letting him do the things he’s normally able to do.”

Long also knew there were no easy fixes.

“At that point of the season, there’s not much you can do other than keep grinding,” Long said. “So I wasn’t surprised when I heard about the hip injury. His explosion was gone.”

This sort of raises the question of why A-Rod wasn’t checked out for an injury sooner, however. Perhaps Alex didn’t complain of any pain, but if the hitting coach was noticing a physical problem in a 37 year old slugger who’s already had a hip surgery, you’d think that would be a “better safe than sorry” sort of scenario, right? Maybe Long is exaggerating a bit in order to defend A-Rod?

About Brien Jackson

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

9 thoughts on “Long: A-Rod was hurting in August

  1. ….have to wonder why they kept putting his name on the lineup card…..anybody who watched him bat…could surmise he was either injured….or through….was he hitting balls "out" in bp?

    • Well that picture in this post is from the game I covered in Baltimore, and he absolutely crushed that ball. As a general rule though, simply lacking power could have been attributed to the residual effects of breaking your wrist, but Long is saying he could see something was off with A-Rod’s legs.

  2. The decline in power could easily be explained away by the wrist injury, but I remember several balls Alex hit last year that when they left the bat looked as though they were headed a lot farther than they ended up, both before an after the disabled list stint. Not to mention several fly balls to right that several years earlier would have floated into the porch. He might have been having issues with the hip even he got drilled by King Felix. Long's analysis does have some merit. However, I have a bad feeling that this hip surgery is not going to end well for Alex. It's hard to believe a 37 year old athlete will be able to return to even average major league form after such an operation. I fervently hope that I'm wrong.

  3. Well, I think with the way ARod works out he'll recover providing he's not hit with another injury. Yankee fans could try supporting him the way they do Jeter. And don't change on a dime. I know from experience, I always played my best college ball when I felt relaxed. Nothing worse than having it be the 5th inning and the butterflies haven't left yet.

  4. I'm not surpised at Long's statement, the lack of power was obvious. I am surprised that NY let him continue to grind with no apparent concern for his health or reputation. They let him dangle when the press started on him, doing nothing to help him out even though they knew he wasn't right physically. I understand that they may noth have wanted to broadcast his injury, but it got ridiculous. They certainly could have said something as soon as the season ended.

    Cashman is a pretty good GM but I think he holds a grudge, A-Rod paid for opting out then going directly to Hank. Sort of the way Jeter paid for playing hardball on his 189 M contract when the last one was negotiated.

  5. What's the old saying? Pride goeth before a fall. If A-Rod was hurt and couldn't produce at the plate, wasn't it his responsibility to inform the medical staff? Did his enormous ego delude him into thinking he could just play through it?

  6. I never blame an athlete for attempting to play through an injury…. that's their job

    It's up to the team (specifically, the manager) to say "you can't play through this, take a seat"

  7. Also, I don't really disagree that the fans just need to accept the disastrous contract and support the guy to play as often as possible as well as possible for the next 5 years because he isn't going anywhere…

    On the flip side… I do understand the resentment.. he's a mostly unlikeable person who the entire Miami area knows began juicing in high school and actually went on sixty minutes and straight up lied about it, just an appaling lack of character and integrity… his body may never allow him to play a full, productive season again, and THIS is the guy that an increasingly cheap ownership group
    happily overpaid?

    I think it's a good learning lesson for anyone running a sports team…. be very careful when you overpay someone whom most of your fan base doesn't really admire… because if it doesn't work out.. it becomes a double whammy

  8. Bleh, i know that you wanted to play and help the team, but if he had the surgery in September or October, he may have been back for the beginning of the upcoming season. It was probably a lose/lose situation for his reputation in the eyes of Yankees fans, but it's tough knowing he didn't anything in the postseason, as well as missing at least half of next year.